’Tis the Season to be Defiant—Stop Police Terror, Which Side Are You On? Justice for Laquan McDonald and All People Murdered by Police!

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

Photo credit: FJJ

Saturday, December 5—On one of the busiest holiday weekends, Stop Mass Incarceration Network-Chicago and the Chicago Revolution Club challenged shoppers on Chicago’s busy downtown State Street to take a stand against the murder of Laquan McDonald and all police murders across this country. People from Chicago Anonymous and from one of the groups involved in boycotting Black Friday joined in. Sidewalks were jammed, packed full of holiday shoppers and people looking at the Macy’s holiday windows. They were greeted with about 30 people carrying the large Stolen Lives banner; signs calling for “Justice for Laquan McDonald! Stop Police Terror—Which Side Are You On?” and “Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.” Protesters chanted, agitated, and sang the Samuel L. Jackson song “I Can’t Breathe,” and called out the 16-shot murder of Laquan by Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. All this while Salvation Army volunteers and others sang Christmas carols. It was quite a scene.

People grabbed fliers, many with smiles, telling us they really appreciated us being out there. Several non-mainstream media, including from a local Chicago college, interviewed and videoed people from Stop Mass Incarceration Network. People from all over the Chicago area and other parts of the country and the world paused while they listened to protesters speak about the massive cover-up of the murder of Laquan, and how this happens all across the country, murder after murder. An older Black woman, who we had met at the Black Friday protest, told us how effective we were in getting out the message of Stop Police Murder to people. She had walked around the area checking people’s response and felt that many, many people were watching and listening to what was being said. She also warned us of police in vans behind the scenes and that we should be aware of them.

It took 13 months to get the video of the police murder of Laquan released. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, and all the cops involved had pushed the “official story” and declared the case closed: that Laquan supposedly lunged at the cop with a knife (which could have been loaded with bullets, according to one of Van Dyke’s reports), so they had to kill him. The Chicago Tribune ran a front-page story December 5 titled “Laquan McDonald police reports differ dramatically from video,” based on hundreds of pages of newly released police reports from the night of Laquan’s execution and the cover-up that followed.

Photo credit: FJJ

Many people who had been at other protests around Laquan and other police murders came or stopped to take flyers out to their friends. People joined in along the route, taking turns speaking on the bullhorn and calling out the cover-up of not only the murder of Laquan, but the many other young Black and Latino people who have been killed coast to coast. A Black man said he was a victim of police brutality, how we had to fight for our rights against the neo-Nazi cops that patrol their community. He said, “We are human beings, but the cops see us as sheep or dogs to be shot down in the street.” He challenged people to care, that what was happening was bigger than him and that this was not the future he saw for the youth. He ended with, “We are fighting for the future.” A Black woman came up and stuffed a #africanschargegenocide flyer in my pocket and took flyers.

The Revolution Club spoke to the slow genocide against Black people, and the whole history of slavery and Jim Crow and how this country was built on the blood and bones of the enslavement of Black people and the genocide of indigenous Indians: how it would take a revolution to really uproot the oppression that Black and Latino and all oppressed people face. They linked the oppression of women, the destruction of the environment, attacks on immigrants, and the wars of plunder for empire, how this was all part of the same brutal capitalist-imperialist system. They urged people to get into Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and to come to a showing of clips from the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! at Revolution Books.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

There was sharp challenge to many of the white shoppers who went by, but who did not take flyers. What did they see on the video? Wasn’t it straight-up murder? Were they going to live in a society where the police gun down Black and Latino people? Is this the kind of society they want their kids to be a part of? This went right up against all the holiday shopping and window watching that circled Macy’s. There were a few who cheered the police, but not many, and if they did support police, they weren’t saying anything.

Some who protested felt that getting rid of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was the answer, that everyone involved in the cover-up and actual incident should be indicted for accessory to murder.

People need to be in the streets every weekend going into the holidays: speaking out against police murder nationwide, going to showings of Spike Lee’s new movie, Chi-Raq, getting out Stop Police Murder—Which Side Are You On? statements, and signing people up to be organizers for Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

The police have been forced this coming week to release the video of Ronald “Ronnieman” Johnson’s murder by police in October 2014. His mother has been fighting for more than a year to get this video released to show that the cops murdered her son. We have to be ready to hit the streets when the video is released. People around the country and the world are watching what we do in the face of these outrages.

People need to be checking out what it will take to stop these crimes being committed against humanity. Police murder won’t stop against Black and Latino people unless tens of thousands, influencing and challenging millions, say STOP Police Terror—which side are you on?


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